Monday, March 05, 2007


Boy do I feel prescient and clever and ahead of the curve and all that stuff.

I had the foresight to refer to conservatist sorceress Ann Coulter as a "nightmare hag" DAYS before she torpedoed her vestigial respectability by lobbing the other F-word ("faggot") towards Democratic Presidential Forlorn-Hopeful John Edwards, the one-term temporary Senator from North Carolina. Coulter should know better, of course, but has proved over time that being quick with the verbal stiletto and asserting her presumed superiority over her morally, politically, and intellectually bankrupt opponents is the highest possible priority in her public appearances, with effective argument and persuasion lagging way down the shopping list.

Something tells me she has lobbed her last grenade while preaching before a receptive choir. Oddly enough, however, she may have increased her chances of being asked to appear at venues where she is unpopular, because who on the left could now resist giving her a platform on which to degrade her own camp and undermine its cause?

Coulter has built her career on accusing liberals of engaging in every kind of aggressive tactic except rational dispute-- of choosing to spout wildly exaggerated insults and slanderous comparisons (Bush as Hannibal-Lecteresque theo-tyrant Chimpy McHitlerburton) instead of taking on the right's arguments and answering them point by point. (Ah, Bill Maher-- how conveniently he illustrates what I mean.)

Newsflash, Ann: "Faggot" is not an argument about whether John Edwards has any business pretending to qualify for national leadership.

"Faggot" does not address his big-bucks ambulance-chasing legal career, culminating in shelling out about $6 million to erect a personal palace 2.5 times the square footage of Jefferson's Monticello (not including the slave quarters-- Jefferson's, that is).

"Faggot" does not describe his decades-stale platform built on the manufactured crisis of "two Americas" and the phonied-up biography about his po' trailer-trash beginnings.

"Faggot" might put a few people in mind of that delicious piece of 2004 film-footage wherein Edwards fluffed his
hair for about ten straight minutes, but the world (especially on the left coast) is full of people of both sexes and every deviation therefrom who can spend more time thinking about their hair than they do their presidential vote, so the epithet just doesn't say anything useful.

Putting John Edwards' name and the word "faggot" in one sentence , while scrupulously avoiding actually calling him one, is exactly the kind of content-free, hysterical, cheap, sleazy, brainless, diversionary B.S. Coulter has been accusing the left of for years. She herself has always been a completely useless commentator, in my view, because she has increasingly preferred bullying to persuading-- even as she bolted like a scared bunny from an incoming cream pie... [See my earlier post on the Coulter "barracuda" factor.]

Now she has joined the ranks of the enemies she despises by taking up their favourite technique-- perhaps, sadly, because she discovered that it works for them quite well. But it should come as no surprise to her that what works for the left in the public arena never works for the right-- the rules are different. What gets you press, and fans, and cocktail invitations amongst the vapid elite of left-wing society will probably only garner Ann Coulter a leper-bell she can't silence, and the word "unclean" beaming out from her skinny little tank-top.

Good riddance.

I called it!


Self-embedded battlefield correspondent Michael Yon had a rare success in delivering an online dispatch from Baghdad today. Now in his third year of front-line reporting from way, WAY outside the wire-- probably the first man to make an authoritative call on the "civil war" aspect of the Iraq conflict [he defined it narrowly and concluded that it was of questionable relevance to the mission]-- Yon weighs in on life amid the "surge."

Money quotes:

With the odometer running over many embeds, [Command Sergeant Major Jeffrey] Mellinger has taken me about 4,000 miles (total) up and down Iraqi roads, visiting units from north to south, east to west, showing that the military truly opens their doors to writers who will stick it out. They don’t even have to like you: my fights with the Army are well-known, yet they continue to open their doors. There’s a lesson in there. I wrote that Iraq was in a civil war shortly after covering the first elections. I wrote about commanders who did poorly, and ISF units that couldn’t shoot straight, and I wrote about the veneer of victory in Afghanistan cracking under the weight of a poppy-fueled Taliban resurgence. Yet they still let me in.

It’s a reminder of why I am so proud of my country, despite our many problems. It’s also a caution about why we must stick with our people who have been mostly abandoned at war. I understand the position of the journalists. Especially the ones who get blown up or shot at fairly regularly, but the informed interest of ordinary Americans is critical to the outcome of this war. And the truth is that our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of whom rarely (if ever) see a writer, are abandoned by default...

There’s a lot of talk back at home that morale among American forces is low here. While writing this, I called Rich Oppel from the New York Times, who is in Baghdad, to ask him how morale looked from his vantage. Rich said that a lot of the soldiers are not happy with the extensions of their tours, something I have heard soldiers complain about also. However, I watch morale very closely. More closely than all else. Low morale in a particular unit can be the result of poor leadership in that unit, or just not getting mail, for instance. But gauging morale is not a simple affair of asking a few soldiers. A person has to live with them across Iraq. Having done so, my opinion is that overall troop morale is good to high. (If their morale could be bottled, it would probably would sell like crack, then be outlawed.)

Michael Yon -- support the embed with donations and purchases here